Bear Lake Overlook to Limber Pine Snowshoe/Ski, 18 January, 2020

Twelve Cache Hikers participated in a winter trip from the Bear Lake Overlook to the Old Limber Pine.   Eleven carpooled up from Logan to the Overlook, where we met April, from Garden City. Dave W., the leader, used cross-country skis while the others were on snowshoes.   There was a foot of new snow on top of a 3-4 foot base, but we were fortunate to have enough people to take turns "breaking" the trail.  It was cloudy at first, but the skies soon became clear.  The temperature was about 25
ºF with calm winds. 

The Old Limber Pine has been a favorite destination in past years, but this time we went by a different route to avoid recent parking issues (see our March 2017 report, for an example).  Beginning at the Bear Lake Overlook, we headed west to the Sunrise Campground, then southwest up an open slope to a low point on a ridge.  It was our plan to follow an old fence line in a fairly straight line from there, but we got off-track.  Fortunately we realized it before descending into a steep and narrow ravine and took corrective action to get us back more-or-less on course.  Our planned route looked a bit questionable as we entered a thick stand of trees, but in 1/4 mile we emerged into an open meadow only a short distance from the Old Limber Pine.

From the meadow it was easy traveling up to the Old Limber Pine on a snowshoe track that had already been broken by others (and yes, the old tree got an affectionate hug from one of our snowshoers).  We enjoyed lunch at the nearby fenced area, then went southeast to a ridge overlooking Middle Sink, but it was windy and cold there so we didn't stay long.  We returned to the campground by a more direct route, without deviating toward the ravine.  We enjoyed great views of Bear Lake on our return trip, over nearly untracked snow with sunny skies overhead.  However, the slope west of the campground had been thoroughly cut up by snow machines since we were there in the morning.
On this trip we saw (and heard) chickadees and had a great view of a bald eagle flying west over the Middle Sink ridge.  On the drive back to Logan we saw two moose resting near Beaver Creek (exactly where we saw them earlier in the day) and a kingfisher near the Logan River.  We also saw an elk(?) in lower Logan Canyon in the morning.

Trip Summary:
  • Snowshoers Jane, Gordon, April, Laurel, Michelle, Sarah, Dave P., Dick, Brent, Tawnya, and Chris.  Dave W. (leader) had cross-country skis
  • Organized carpools and drove 34 miles up Logan Canyon to the Bear Lake Overlook
  • Started out about 11:15 with lunch at the Old Limber Pine from 12:45 - 1:15
  • Stopped to look over Middle Sink on the way back, returned to the Bear Lake Overlook at 2:30 and Logan by 3:30 
  • About a foot of new snow, cloudy skies at first, then clear.  Temperature about 25º F and winds were calm (except for a brisk breeze on the ridge overlooking Middle Sink)
  • Snowshoed about 3 miles with close to  400 feet of ascent & descent

Thanks to Dave W. for the narrative, photos, and GPS data, and Jane and Tawnya for photos

Traveling through the Sunrise Campground
Ascending the hill west of the campground
Bear Lake
Looking back toward Bear Lake
An old fence line on our way to the Old Limber Pine
Going through a stand of mountain mahogany trees
We followed someone's snowshoe tracks the last 1/10 mile to the Old Limber Pine
Limber Pine
The Old Limber Pine
Limber Lunch
At the Old Limber Pine
Lunch near the Old Limber Pine
Blue ski
Blue sky, bright sun, fresh snow and a few interesting clouds as we headed toward the Middle Sink ridge
Another Limber
The windy ridge overlooking Middle Sink
A different old limber pine on the Middle Sink ridge
A group photo before heading back through the trees
Enjoying a good view of Bear Lake
On our way back
A snow-covered picnic table in the campground
Our GPS track shows about 3 miles and nearly 400 feet of ascent and descent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file..